Chaney Run is a small mountain stream in Southwestern Pennsylvania. This narrow tributary to Big Sandy Run rises on Chestnut Ridge. It then flows through a portion of Forbes State Forest before emptying into Big Sandy in Wharton Township.
Chaney Run is not a particularly productive. Still it does hold some trout and offer angling opportunities. Due to its small size and flow through a largely forested area, this stream will often clear before others after a heavy rain.
Fish species in Chaney Run
Chaney Run supports a small population of wild reproducing brook trout. On top of that, the stream receives one planting of brown trout each spring. Some of the brown may even reproduce here occasionally. Sculpin can also be found in this stream in smaller numbers.
An average Chaney Run brown trout
The introduced brown trout seem to outnumber the native brook trout in Chaney Run. That is often what happens when the two fish overlap. Especially in this area. Still some small wild brookies can be caught from time to time. Especially in the narrower sections closer to the headwaters.
Fishing Chaney Run
Although this stream flows with high quality water, Chaney Run is narrow and fairly shallow. Despite this, the stream does see a fair bit of angling pressure early in the season. The stream is easily accessible as it flows alongside Wharton Furnace Road for most of its length. In addition, most of the stream is located within Forbes State Forest which is open to the public.
Small brook trout can be found throughout Chaney Run. The stocked brown trout tend to concentrate in the few deeper holes and runs. Most of the brownies I’ve caught here were in bathtub sized holes or hiding beneath undercut banks and exposed tree roots.
The fishing here can tough. There aren’t a ton of fish to begin with. The shallow clear water keeps fish on alert too. A stealthy approach is necessary once the easiest stocked fish are picked over on the first day of trout season.
This brown trout hit a Swiss Swing spinner
No fancy rigging is required to fish Chaney Run. You could hop across much of this stream without getting wet. All you need is a rod rigged with light line that will allow you to drop your presentation into likely holding spots. There’s not a ton of room for casting here.
I’ve caught a few brook trout and a fair amount of brown trout in Chaney Run. I typically fish with something like a Prince jig fly or marabou jig under a float here. Or if I want to use a more active approach to provoke fish into biting I will use something like a small Swiss Swing or ultra light spoon.
When fishing the jig fly I simply let it drift naturally with the current. When using a spinner or spoon I will hold it out in the current. Once the action of the lure kicks in I will slowly maneuver it in and around places I think will hold trout.
Chaney Run fishing regulations
The section of Chaney Run from the headwaters downstream to a spot 219 yards downstream of the fourth Wharton Furnace Road bridge is classified as a stocked trout water by the PA Fish Commission. That means this section of the stream is closed to fishing from late February until the first day of trout season in April.
In the stocked section, anglers are permitted to keep five trout over seven inches during regular trout season. The limit is lowered to three trout during the extended season that runs from the day after Labor Day until the third Monday in February of the following year.
The small section after the stocked section is subject to general regulations. Fishing in the entirety of Chaney Run can be done with traditional angling methods using bait, lures, and flies.
To the best of my knowledge, this is accurate as of the time of writing. Of course regulations are subject to change. For current regulations be sure to check the Pennsylvania Fish Commission website.
- Fish species present: Brook trout, brown trout, sculpin.
- Closest tackle shops: S&S Bait & Tackle, Dunlap Creek Lake Outdoor Center.
- Recommend spin fishing tackle: Ultralight rod, 2-4lb fluorocarbon line.
- Recommend fly fishing tackle: 3-4 weight rod, WF floating line, 4x fluorocarbon tippet.
- Recommend bait/lures: VooDoo Marabou Jig, Swiss Swing.
- Recommend flies: Bead Head Pheasant Tail size 12, San Juan Worm size 12, Prince Nymph Jig size 12.
- Nearby hotels: Historic Summit Inn Resort, The Lodge at Chalk Hill, Hopwood Motel.